Monday, 27 May 2019

Viaduct Open, Bank Holiday Monday 27th May 2019

So, back to Viaduct today and try to banish yesterdays embarrassment. I had sorted out my bait and had a selection of pellets, there was a bag of worms and a pint of dead maggots still in the bait bag, I left them in, just in case...

54 fishing today, so Campbell, Cary and Lodge all in, waited and joined the back of the draw queue, just to try and change my luck / routine.  Campbell was my reward, 125, the area had fished hard yesterday, so I had the option of fishing for silvers or carp.

When I got to the peg, it was evident that the guys either side were fishing for carp, mainly on the lead by what they had set up, this swayed me towards the silvers, but did set up the usual lead and waggler rods and a couple of top sets for carp, just in case they had a munch.  The other topkits were two identical Hillbilly floats, new models to me, with Tungsten wire stems, the type that doesn't bend, one with a banded hook and one with plain hook, both 18's on 0.12.

Started short, as this can often throw up a quick carp or decent skimmer, but with no signs in 6 or 7 minutes I binned this line and fed a line at seven joints with plain feed micros, feed No4's in a ball of GB, which was a 50/50 mix of Burt Baits Silvers Sensation and Expander.  I did feed 8mm feed pellets at 25m, to see if the fish would respond and start fizzing.

First put in over the micros/GB with a 4mm Burts soft hooker pellet (sweet F1 flavour) and I hook a carp, about 9lb, it was netted after tussle, the Stroft 0.12 and Guru 18 Kaisen hook doing the business.
After this I did settle into a routine, catching skimmers from 6oz up to 2lb, for the first couple of hours it was best to feed a ball of the GB/pellets and fish it out, gradually the fish backed off and trickling in some pellets without GB brought them back.

I did try worm on the hook, I had a couple on it, but it was nowhere near as effective as the Sweet F1 pellets, I feed some of the GB mix down the edge virtually next to my pallet, over this I had a run of perch, a small tench and a couple of skimmers.  Resting the 7m line seemed to help, as going back over it brought some more skimmers and I did this for the last 90 minutes, taking odd perch and skimmers, as the fishing slowed down.

The scales arrived, I'd tipped back my lonesome carp, couldn't believe I had fished all day with the same 0.12 hooklength, must be a record this time of year.  I thought I might have 40lb and was pleased to see the scales record 49.05 over two weighs, I knew Steve Tucker had a good run of skimmers down the edge on 123 and was relieved to see him weigh a respectable 45lb, so my 49lb won the silvers and qualified for the silvers all winners final.

Well done to Adrian on the win, a tough day for many, hopefully things will start to settle down soon.

Tony Rixon's Float Only League, Sunday 26th May 2019

First match of this enjoyable league, I'd happily fish many more matches as float only.

I am having a nightmare run at the moment, some poor draws, but I seem to be shot of confidence in making a method or bait work, so am getting nowhere near the best from pegs at the moment, hopefully today would be a good chance to reboot and get back on track.  The draw was a good start, 112, narrowly pipped for the section and lake win by Steve Shaw on 110 a few weeks back, an enjoyable day catching on the waggler and then a few short.

There were quite a few fish spawning round the lake, so I was wondering how it would fish, first job was to set up full depth and shallow waggler rods, then full depth and shallow pellet rigs, meat rig, edge rig and in case the sun came out, a mugging rig.  There was time so I set up a paste rig - too much stuff, evidence of my uncertainty and loss of confidence I guess.

Started on meat short and had a 10lb fish first put in, great start, then the wheels came off.   Lost a foul hooker on the meat and then it was getting ragged by shit fish and even a 10mm piece of meat was getting whittled down until a 2oz roach could get it and the hook in its mouth.

A switch to the waggler and I was expecting a few fish, its a method I enjoy and would back myself on, well not today, I didn't have a bite on it.

I spent the rest of the day being well and truly chip-shopped, as I switched from long pole and pellet, meat short, worms down the edge, pellet shallow and failed quite spectacularly to catch, whilst Phil opposite and Paul next to me were catching on pellets, I had a couple on Burts 8mm polony pellets on the deck, had a few liners so picked up the shallow rig, fish first drop in, but that was it, just typical of my matches at the moment, make a change, catch a fish, but then fail to take more off that line.  Had one on paste, but no other bites on it.

Probably last in section, as no one seems to be able to be honest about their weights and I left before the section was finished weighing in. One of those matches where I left thinking, what the **** just happened, I really should have stuck to trying to make something work, rather than chapping and changing.  Well done to those worked it out.

Back to Viaduct tomorrow, going to cut down on my choices by just taking pellets.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Acorn Evening Open, Thursday 23rd May 2019

After a win and a couple of framing places in last years evening matches, I was looking forward to this.
Into the ping pong bag and out comes ball number 40, not the peg I would have chosen, especially tonight as the wind was putting a nice ripple on most pegs, but not 40.  It was flat calm and had some stale looking surface flotsam, along with two dead carp and 5 dead perch floating round in it.  The wind was just enough to skim the surface towards the bridge, where it all stopped as the bridge is in the water.

It's only 13m across and with a nice shelf I expected to catch carp over against the bank, staring on 6mm banded Burt feed pellets, I did have one carp, but no other signs, I was getting bites, but it was from these..

I was fearing the worst and it took until the last 20 minutes before I started catching carp, shallow down the track, I chucked back 30lb and headed straight home, couldn't even face staying for the free cider and hotdogs!

Well done to those who caught and framed.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Viaduct Spring League, Round Three, Sunday 19th May 2019

Back to Viaduct for this keenly fought league, I needed a section win to keep me in with a shout, so a positive approach was planned.  Can't say I was over enamoured with my draw, 99 on Cary, but there is plenty of water to go at here, so hopeful of a few fish.

One lead rod set up, I jokingly said it would go away again unused, but it did, a waggler set at full depth and some top kits, a meat rig for 6m, a pellet rig for 14m, although the depth meant they'd be interchangeable. A shallow rig and as it was sunny a mugging rig, a paste rig (just in case) and finally, not sure why, a margin rig - with 98 and 100 in I didn't expect to catch in the margin.

Bait tray was a simple affair, 8mm meat, 8mm Burt Baits Polony pellets and some plain feed pellets.  I left the dead maggots, GB and worms in the bag.

Starting at 6m with meat I only gave it 10 minutes, as there was no indications and I just had the feeling there was nothing there.  Picked up the waggler and had a 12lb fish first chuck, feeding the 8mm polony pellets with on in the band. I stuck with the waggler for 2 hours and had 3 more fish and had 37lb on the clicker, but then all indications died off, it was fishing hard all around, Roy next to me hadn't had had a bite, Winter League team mate Rich was struggling on 97 and had switched to fishing for skimmers, even that wasn't happening.  I did feed a quarter of a pot of feed pellets on a throwaway line and did try paste over it - no fizzing or signs of fish, so unusual.

I got some 6mm polony pellets out of the bag and fed these with a few cubes of meat at 14m, trying to catch skimmers (anything) I had one about 4oz and that was it.  The waggler seemed the best option, so back on that, but nothing apart from a foul hooker that snapped the main line above the float as I tried to stop it going half a dozen pegs away and a 3lb bream.

I could se the guy on 96 hook one on the pole, so I switched back to the 14m line and hooked and lost one - foul hooker - switched to the shallow rig and gave it a real go, but never had a touch on it, back on the deck and a 13lber with 30 minutes to go and was hopeful of another, but it never happened, it was a real struggle and I thought I had 50lb in the net plus the two skimmers.  The scales confirmed I was nearly right with 49lb odd and the skimmers adding just over 3lb.  Beaten by two further down the section, with just a couple of pounds in it, the lack of skimmers cost me, maybe I should have had some expanders with me, but I had gambled on hard pellets and maybe that cost me the section.

Monday, 13 May 2019

Mark's Two Day Pairs, Trinity Waters, Saturday/Sunday 11th/12th May 2019

When Paul Faiers asked me to partner him for this two dayer, I jumped at the chance to get back to this friendly and well kept fishery.

I haven't had much opportunity to get back down here lately, so not 100% up to speed on what is working, but I really didn't expect it to be much different to previous visits, where pellets and paste normally are the bankers.

First day draw saw me on 27 (I could have predicted that, I always draw the middle of the lake this side...) and Paul on 7. I'd go into a long explanation of the day, but I really don't want to relive it, I had on fish about 10lb on paste after 20 minutes and another down the edge at 15:45 on Belachan paste, over Belachan pellets, that was it, I just could not buy a bite.  I set up a new line feeding micros and fishing soft pellet and had a couple of skimmers, then had to restart a new line to catch two more.  I was getting a battering off the next peg by Dave Romain - who was catching on meat - my meat cutter and tins of meat was 40 miles away in my garage.

I was resoundingly last on the lake, not a great experience and I was not in the best of moods, had I the option to not fish on Sunday, I would have taken it, time for a few beers and a doner kebab to try and wipe that from my memory.

Mindful it was a pairs match - albeit one that was now out of reach baring half the field blanking, I did manage to restrict myself to a couple of beers and was up and away on time, hoping for a draw on some fish.  The weather was slightly warmer and with the promise of sunshine, I did think it might be a day for mugging.

The draw put us on peg 12 for me, which Mark Broomsgrove had struggled on Saturday and Paul on 22, which Kev Perry had 3 late fish for 40lb on Saturday, but not much else.  Still, different day, different conditions.  I had brought meat today, given yesterdays lesson, but still had faith in pellets to kick the peg off.  I did set up a method feeder, along with a waggler rod, as Mark had two on the feeder yesterday, but I was pretty sure that the fish would be down on the deck given the sun.

Topkits to cover paste, pellet on the deck, shallow rig, mugging rig and a margin rig.  I left my phone in the van, so no pics, or I would have illustrated the short margin to my left and the closeness of peg 11 which was in.

11:00 all in and I was confident of getting an early fish, its rare not to on this water, but no matter what I did I could not get a bite, I could see Paul across on 22 catching well, using the same tactics as I was, I had explained to him the way I fish paste on here - it was working for him, but I wasn't even getting liners.

There were some catching, others struggling, I was pulling my hair out, I had been feeding some polony pellets into the margin and it was completely dead, I switched to meat and had a perch about a pound and half, but then the meat was getting ragged by tiny fish.  I had to do something as I was in danger of coming last again on a venue that I have a good record, I just couldn't explain it.

Two big pots of Tiger Nut Method/Margin groundbait and then a whole pot of dead maggot, I left it to settle for 10 minutes and first drop in had a beautiful golden Tench about 4lb.  I had a run of 2 more perch and 4 carp, I was starting to think I might catch up those who had a runaway lead, but as the farthest you can get along this margin is top kit + 1, I feel they fish spooked off, that may have been due to the short margin or I must admit after 10 hours of hardly seeing a bite, I probably overcooked it a bit trying to force the peg.  Between me and peg 11, there was a clump of rushes and the water was a bit shallower here, I had left it alone as the pegs were close and I had an empty peg to my left (even though it was no real advantage, due not being able to get to it).

I fed some meat my side of the rushes and saw a swirl, dropping in I had a fish straight away, what was noticeable, was the size of the fish I was getting were small, plenty of others were landing double figure fish , the biggest I had was 8lb.  Was the peg worth more - definitely, I could have fed and managed the margins better, it was just desperation and trying to force the peg that cost me, as for Saturday, I really have no idea what I could have done differently.  The mugging rig stayed in the roost, I was sure that some would come up on top, I saw a couple when tacking up, but none during the match.

Confirming the old adage fish have fins and swim, Paul won the match from 22, where Kev struggled yesterday, so well done mate, shame I couldn't have added to the pairs tally.  Well done to the pairs that framed.

I'm not sorry to have that weekend behind me to be honest, I love the venue, but I do wonder (as quite a few others speculated) if it could do with an injection of new fish to give it a boost as a match lake.  After a week at work, I do like to have a few bites and I reckon I had 10 bites in 6 hours on Saturday and not many more on Sunday, maybe once the weather settles and spawning is out of the way, the fish will settle down.

Next up, R3 Viaduct Spring League, need a decent draw and a good performance to keep in touch, so fingers crossed.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Ivy House Open, Saturday 4th May 2019

A trip back to Ivy House today, the match was on both canals and I do enjoy the mix of carp and silvers these lakes, especially Kingfisher offers.  My first trip since the fishery only pellet rule was introduced, so I had to go and buy some pellets whilst chatting to Andy before the start.  I fully understand its a business and that Andy and Karen have invested a good deal of time and money into improving  the fishery, but for me, I'd rather pay a higher peg fee than have to use fishery only pellets - that said, it won't put me off returning.

Since I last fished the canals, they have been renumbered, so when I drew 44, it meant little to me, but it was on Kingfisher on the straight, so I was happy with that.  I was surprised how cold it was and maybe I underestimated the effect the low temperature would have on the fishing.  I'd only brought a pole, so just a few top kits to set up.  One for right across at 16m, this is usually a banker for a few carp, its deeper than you'd like, but by pulling the pellet onto the slope, you can usually catch a few. Its nice to fish somewhere that you can ship 16m behind you as well, no need to double ship here. A simple rig with a 18LWG tied with a band on 0.14 was soon set up and plumbed up. Next a maggot rig to fish just up the near shelf, this has been a successful line in the past for me. Then a margin rig, same one wold do for both sides, I planned to fish maggots one side and micros/corn the other.

Two more rigs one 0.2 and one 0.4 to fish lines in the open water, one line fed with micros, one with GB and maggots. Simple bait tray, pellets, maggots and corn.  Starting across, I expected to catch a couple of quick fish, but it took 20 minutes to get the first one, a feisty little mirror about a pound and a half.  After 35 minutes I binned the long line and switched to the very short line, where I had been dripping a few maggots in.  This saw a hybrid and a roach netted, but no sign of the big skimmers which will come in and feed on this line. Back across, but after an hour and a quarter, I was sure I was holding 16m in vain.  I never had another fish from that long line, which is a first for me.

I managed a couple of skimmers and a small carp in the next 3 hours and with 4 hours gone I reckon I had 8lb in the net, the guy on 46 was catching odd carp, but I was rotating lines, started up a new negative line and all to no avail.  With about an hour and a half to go, I did start to get a few bites and had to swap between the GB/maggot line and the micro/soft pellet line to get bites and I did start to claw my way back into the match, but the last 30 minutes it died on me again and I was left scratching my head.  I had gone down to a 20 on 0.10, that didn't make any difference, I fed one line negatively and one positively, both reacted the same.  The margins were devoid of fish, not sure what the answer was - I delayed writing this blog to try and think it through, I just can't work it out, I am not sure what I would do differently.

Its about time we had some proper seasonal weather, warmer and more settled.  Hopefully that will settle the fish down, let them get spawning over and done with and get some normality back.  Well done to the framers today, it was a tough day for all.

Next up, two day pairs match at Trinity.